What each district says about India’s progress – and how it can help frame better policies.

Syllabus: GS-II, Subject: Governance, Topic: important aspects of governance, Issue: Multidimensional and localized index at district level

Context: Recently Maharashtra has created a District development index

Need for Multidimensional and localized index at district level:

  • Large average population of districts (86 million people larger than UAE and Singapore population)
  • Develop grass root insight by analyzing socio-economic indicators
  • Highlight the significant disparities in the income concentration across districts,
  • Help in establishing varied measures for different localities and regions, tailored to their culture, urbanization, development and demography.
  • Brings Transparency and ensure accountability of stakeholders.
  • Helps in tracking and supporting the contemporary socio-economic and infrastructure development at the district level

Existing initiative in this direction

  • Bottom-up policies are founded on three key pillars — data collection, best governance practices and incentivized collaboration between different departments.
  • Aspirational Districts Programme – As per NITI AAYOG transformed the lives of about 25 crore people in 112 districts with visible outcomes
  • Schemes such as the One District One Product (ODOP) is increasing district level productivity.

District level data can be used to created district level industrial cluster. This will catalyze district-level productivity and value-creation.

+1 Advantage:

Data on progress of aspirational district program:

·         The percentage of pregnant women registered for ante-natal care within the first trimester rose from 68 per cent in 2018 to 89 per cent in 2023.

·          The percentage of underweight children below the age of six years has considerably declined.

One District One Product (ODOP)

·         Since its launch in 2020, the programme has seen the development and promotion of 1,000-plus unique products, across 767 districts, encompassing sectors such as textiles, agriculture, food processing and handicrafts.

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